One Friday as I travelled to school, something caught my eye out the window. I saw a young girl, probably about 15, walking along with a boy of the same age and it dawned on me that at almost 18, I haven’t done that.
I haven’t walked side by side with a significant other and after I thought about this one particular thing, all of these “I have nots” began to invade my head.
I haven’t been on a date. I haven’t been to a party.
What made these I have not’s pack an extra punch for me personally is that some of those things I will never do.
I won’t ever conventionally walk next to someone.
I am not upset about that fact, I don’t think I need to walk to be fulfilled. However, it is quite frightening to think that at almost 18, I don’t have any of the traditional life experiences of a teenager under my belt. However, some of that is through my own choice.
I don’t really want to go to parities and I feel no need to drink. I don’t feel a void for those teenage experiences but I would like to indulge in some of them, a date would be nice.
As nice as a date would be it hasn’t happened yet and as much as that makes me feel like I am not equal to my peers it is just how it is. I could sit around wondering if it’s because of my circumstances or not so good qualities but that is not going to do any good for anyone, especially me.
I needed to focus on what was positive about myself and so I shifted my focus from what I hadn’t done to what I had. In doing this, I saw that my list of achievements and talents were different to everyone else’s and so I began to realise that because of this:
I shouldn’t compare where I’m at in life with where someone else is at because every individual is different in their own unique way. It was then I learned that comparison in all forms was redundant, but it lacked even more logic when I compared myself with my peers.
We all move at different speeds in life and we are all on different paths, but the strongest point of comparison between ourselves and other women seems to come when we discuss our peers.
We start looking at ourselves and finding our flaws, or looking at our “have nots” instead of our good points. We look at everyone around us thinking that they are better or prettier and we end up tangling ourselves up on the inside like Repunzle’s unbrushed hair without any reason to do so.
I find that I size myself up with my own peers when relationships are discussed. This is the topic that makes me question myself the most because it is where I see the biggest divide between myself and others my age. Most of these people are almost eighteen and have had relationship experience which I do not. However, since realising that comparing myself to others was redundant:
I’ve learned that although relationships seemingly matter so much and feel so important and urgent, they are not.
The truth is that you and I don’t need to worry or compare ourselves to the twelve year old that has more relationship experience (and dramatic Instagram posts) than we do, because we are on our own path and life has it all set up for us to walk down.
I promise that one day, when you are probably least expecting it, you’ll find someone but I can also swear to you that you will not find anyone when you are comparing yourself to someone else or questioning your path.
You don’t need to worry about where you’re at or change for that matter.
What you do need to do, is continue completing each day to the best of your ability, adding more things to that list of beautiful positive points about yourself and encouraging your peers to do the same.
Take it from me, someone who feels like there isn’t anyone else out there like her. I used to think that was a bad thing and compare myself to others, I used to think that no relationship would come for me because of it, but I know now that all those things will come in time.
I need to stop focusing on my have nots, and create the best version of myself first. We just need to continue on our path and trust we’ll meet people along the way.
Photo by: Dexter Murray
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